Hello everyone! Today I’m bringing you a review for a sweet, queer young adult book about moving to new places, finding yourself, and discovering secrets.
Title: It’s Not Like it’s a Secret
Author: Misa Sugiura
Genre: YA Contemporary
When Sana and her parents move to California, she is ready for a fresh start. New place, new Sana. Except her secrets follow her to California, like how she hates not being invited to parties, how she secretly has a crush on girls, and how she thinks her dad might be having an affair. As Sana gets to know the new school and find her crowd, she begins falling for Jamie who is beautiful, smart, and honest. But to be with Jamie, Sana has to be honest to everyone, including herself, before everything falls apart.
Despite my rating, I did actually enjoy this book! I thought it was a wonderful account of a sweet, queer romance that I liked reading! It also delved into culture, racism, and stereotypes in a very natural, interesting way. This book was much deeper than I had initially thought it would be, and I enjoyed all the layers in the story.
Sana was an interesting main character because she was so flawed and suspicious. Seeing her move from the Midwest to California was fun, and I enjoyed watching her fit into her new life. That being said, she started lying to people, sneaking around after her dad, and leading on multiple characters which started to really bother me. I appreciated how complex of a character the author made Sana, but it felt like there were a few too many plot points/ topics that the author was trying to hit which made the book seem slightly muddled and less captivating.
I adored both Jamie and Caleb! They are both such thoughtful, kind people, and I loved them! They were there for Sana as she discovered new information about her Dad’s potential affair, and they challenged her stereotypes and problematic ideas.
I also loved all the side characters! I enjoyed comparing Sana’s life before and after the move, and it was nice to see her friends change. Her Asian girl squad was sweet and funny, and I loved how supportive they were of Sana when she came out to them– even though it took some work for them to fully understand her situation. That being said, it was sad to see Sana’s friends stereotype Jamie’s friends who we also got to know some. I do wish we got to know these characters better!
Overall, this was a good book! I found it too muddled and I greatly dislike cheating plot lines. That being said, I would recommend this book for people looking for a fun, YA book about a lesbian romance that also discusses serious topics of race, cheating parents, and acceptance.
Have you read this book? What queer romances have you read recently? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Be safe, Stay strong, and Change the world!! ❤️🏳️🌈✊🏿✊🏾✊🏽✊🏼✊🏻🏳️🌈❤️
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